Red Devil: the experience


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Post Friday, 26th January 2018, 07:45

Red Devil: the experience

Red devils and their backwards hop are in the running for most annoying monster in the game.

Red devils are speed 10. Most characters can just walk away, rendering their gimmick pointless on the off chance you see a red devil at a time where their damage is threatening. Red devils have a base damage of 19 and no spells, so their damage becomes nonthreatening very quickly. The vast majority of red devils spawn when they are not even pretend threatening. You'll get them occasionally from summons or from a vault, but the big offender is their placement as a trash monster in extended (either alone or as part of balrug bands). Chasing red devils around pandemonium with some 250 Hp 50 AC melee character is not tactical gameplay. It is a chore. DCSS would lose very little if red devils were removed entirely, but at the very least they should not have AF_KITE.
Remove spell hunger.

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 26th January 2018, 08:37

Re: Red Devil: the experience

Imo replace red devils in extended with a more dangerous version (call it deep red devil or something) which has a much bigger base damage + a bigger weapon. Also make them less common.
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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Friday, 26th January 2018, 23:33

Re: Red Devil: the experience

Doom Devils. They Doom you and summon a shitload more Doom Devils.
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Tartarus Sorceror

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Post Saturday, 27th January 2018, 07:57

Re: Red Devil: the experience

I don't think they need a replacement, they don't really fit much of a niche.

If they were to have one I would rather it was just a straightforward (decent amount of)ranged damage enemy. But there's enough threats at range in extended anyways.

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Post Monday, 29th January 2018, 19:35

Re: Red Devil: the experience

It seems to me that the entire point of red devils is to be annoying. This is top-down flavor based design. From a gameplay standpoint, they exist - like so many other 'threats' in this game- to add more meaningless variables to the combat equation and (at best) tilt or mislead the player into doing something stupid and dying.

Obviously they should be removed. They are not in line with modern design standards and make the game more obtuse and annoying to play. I think, though, that Red Devils are only the tip of the iceberg in this regard and that there are loads of similar placebo-threats that persist in crawl because a) nostalgia and b) lack of desire to deal with the bureaucratic/logistic hassle of removal.

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Post Tuesday, 30th January 2018, 04:46

Re: Red Devil: the experience

You could hand them Wu Jian's lunge instead, so that they become a "once engaged, you can't reset fights with this thing" kind of monster? But removal really seems like the better option, even the lunge devil would kind of step on hellwing's toes.

That said, the whole concept of extended popcorn is annoying: here are a bunch of monsters with their own gimmicks, but they are 234 demons that show up almost nowhere except in hellpan, where they get squished by the average character (summoned versions are practically never fought so they don't count). These demons should be showing up in D too, like the 5s sometimes do, so that they can be a credible threat to earlier characters.

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Post Tuesday, 30th January 2018, 05:10

Re: Red Devil: the experience

Extended popcorn makes TSO even more superior to other gods due to cleansing flame and heal on kills. You basically have DD's problem of "avoid killing green rat HP farm in Lair" which was eventually fixed but this time it works with most species.
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Post Tuesday, 30th January 2018, 06:24

Re: Red Devil: the experience

Imo the kiting mechanic is good but the monster should be an actual threat. So making a stronger version of the monster would be a good solution, because then we wouldn't get another popcorn monster in its place. This would solve all these problems ("trash monster in extended", "placebo-threats", "squished by the average character", "extended popcorn").
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Post Tuesday, 30th January 2018, 07:15

Re: Red Devil: the experience

Sprucery wrote:Imo the kiting mechanic is good but the monster should be an actual threat.


Will it be good if pure melee is impossible in extended?

Spoiler: show
Kiting Briemstone Fiends... :)
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Post Tuesday, 30th January 2018, 11:38

Re: Red Devil: the experience

I don't understand the concept of 'pure melee'. Why would you choose not to have any kind of ranged attack, unless it is a challenge game?

Wands and evokables exist anyway. And if you sacced Evo with Ru, you have other tools.
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Post Tuesday, 30th January 2018, 11:57

Re: Red Devil: the experience

Sprucery wrote:I don't understand the concept of 'pure melee'. Why would you choose not to have any kind of ranged attack, unless it is a challenge game?


So every character must have some kind of ranged attack for those monsters and some kind of melee attack for popcorn.
I would prefer having more variety among characters :(

Wands and evokables exist anyway. And if you sacced Evo with Ru, you have other tools.

How common are those "kiting dangerous monsters" supposed to be? Something like panlords or closer to different fiends? Anyway, those monsters don't die to a single zap from wand and relying on consumables can be risky (especially since the same consumables are used vs fragile hellions, neqoxecs, tormentors and alike) so I think many characters will go safe way and pick a dedicated ranged attack.
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Post Tuesday, 30th January 2018, 18:04

Re: Red Devil: the experience

Sprucery wrote:I don't understand the concept of 'pure melee'. Why would you choose not to have any kind of ranged attack, unless it is a challenge game?
You can question the logic of it, but lots of people do play this way. I've won a buncha times without training any form of ranged attack, mostly because it didn't feel like what I wanted to do as that character(I'm a big minotaur with big axe=everything besides big axe can fuck off).
Also because I tend to think ranged combat is kind of annoying.

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Post Wednesday, 31st January 2018, 04:47

Re: Red Devil: the experience

I think red devils could have the same effect on combat while losing the annoyance factor if you limit how much and how often they can hop back.
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Post Wednesday, 31st January 2018, 07:11

Re: Red Devil: the experience

VeryAngryFelid wrote:How common are those "kiting dangerous monsters" supposed to be?
That's a balance question. Surely there is a suitable place between "annoying popcorn" and "too hard".

Shard1697 wrote:You can question the logic of it, but lots of people do play this way. I've won a buncha times without training any form of ranged attack, mostly because it didn't feel like what I wanted to do as that character(I'm a big minotaur with big axe=everything besides big axe can fuck off).
Also because I tend to think ranged combat is kind of annoying.
Sure, that can be done, but then you are volentarily playing a challenge game.

If the devs say that DCSS design principles should support a pure melee playstyle then it's another thing. But why not throw some stuff at the approaching monster instead of just waiting and doing nothing?
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Post Wednesday, 31st January 2018, 07:30

Re: Red Devil: the experience

If the devs say that DCSS design principles should support a pure melee playstyle then it's another thing. But why not throw some stuff at the approaching monster instead of just waiting and doing nothing?
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Post Wednesday, 31st January 2018, 07:55

Re: Red Devil: the experience

VeryAngryFelid wrote:FeBe

Sadly, Felids can use wands and other evokables nowadays. And Be can summon bros.
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Post Thursday, 1st February 2018, 01:31

Re: Red Devil: the experience

Hellmonk wrote:Red devils and their backwards hop are in the running for most annoying monster in the game.

I've literally listed them as my #1 most hated monster in the game before. In fact I think I listed a top three where I gave them two spots. I'm not going to actually look up my post history, but I swear it's in there somewhere.

They break tab. And even worse, they'll never a significant threat. By the time you see them, they're completely nonthreatening. They should simply be removed, there's nothing of value to preserve in reworking them to a better form.

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Post Thursday, 1st February 2018, 06:25

Re: Red Devil: the experience

tasonir wrote:
Hellmonk wrote:Red devils and their backwards hop are in the running for most annoying monster in the game.

I've literally listed them as my #1 most hated monster in the game before. In fact I think I listed a top three where I gave them two spots. I'm not going to actually look up my post history, but I swear it's in there somewhere.

They break tab. And even worse, they'll never a significant threat. By the time you see them, they're completely nonthreatening. They should simply be removed, there's nothing of value to preserve in reworking them to a better form.
Well, specifically vs Chei characters they are great enemies who prevent throwing javelins at hellions/tormentors behind them while not allowing to be attacked in melee without polearm.
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Post Thursday, 1st February 2018, 10:02

Re: Red Devil: the experience

VeryAngryFelid wrote:Well, specifically vs Chei characters they are great enemies who prevent throwing javelins at hellions/tormentors behind them while not allowing to be attacked in melee without polearm.

So throw javelins at the hellion/tormentor and it hits one of the monsters (or misses both). What's the problem?

This kind of interaction between monsters makes the red devil a better monster for extended, not worse, imo.
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Post Thursday, 1st February 2018, 10:15

Re: Red Devil: the experience

With Chei you are likely to be in statue form and it wll take about 1.05 turn to throw the javelin instead of 0.75 turn UC and hellion can happily use 1-2 damnations during that time.
I might rather prefer to have an adjacent executioner instead, especially if the javelin has penetration brand.

Yes, I am trying to show that red devil sometimes is not that bad a monster.
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Post Wednesday, 7th February 2018, 01:45

Re: Red Devil: the experience

If the best argument for a monster existing is that it may possibly represent a speed bump on your way to something actually threatening behind it, that is a bad monster.

In the example, if there was enough hellfire threat or if I was low enough on health, then you just slouch and kill the hellions. If not, you just walk towards the hellion until it moves around the red devil, kill it, and then the red devil. More practically speaking if I'm going to extended I'll typically have iron shot or some other ranged option just for red devils.

Edit: example action table behind the spoilers:

Spoiler: show
  Code:
Action                   |  1- 3 |  4- 6 |  7- 9 | 10-12 | 13-15 | 16-18 | 19-21 | 22-24 | 25-27 || total
-------------------------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------++-------
Melee: Unarmed           |    63 |   148 |   185 |   326 |   834 |   820 |   859 |   774 |  4852 ||  8861
       Constrict         |    19 |    41 |    53 |    59 |    64 |   135 |   151 |    77 |   738 ||  1337
       Tentacles         |    15 |    35 |    50 |   122 |   111 |   257 |   297 |   239 |  1276 ||  2402
       Punch             |     2 |     9 |    23 |    53 |    54 |   165 |   201 |   207 |  1081 ||  1795
 Fire: Blowgun           |       |       |       |     8 |       |    97 |     8 |       |       ||   113
Throw: Javelin           |       |       |     8 |     6 |     4 |     2 |       |       |       ||    20
       Throwing net      |       |       |       |     2 |       |       |       |       |       ||     2
 Cast: Ice Form          |       |       |       |     4 |    48 |       |       |       |       ||    52
       Statue Form       |       |       |       |       |     6 |    84 |    65 |    60 |   342 ||   557
       Lesser Beckoning  |       |       |       |       |       |       |     2 |       |    30 ||    32
       Regeneration      |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |   123 ||   123
       Borgnjor's Vile C |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |     9 ||     9
       Apportation       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |     8 ||     8
       Aura of Abjuratio |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |     6 ||     6
       Shatter           |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |     5 ||     5
       Deflect Missiles  |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |     4 ||     4
       Iron Shot         |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |     2 ||     2


I'll give you one guess what I used iron shot twice all game for. Lesser beckoning may have been used on some red devils too but I also use that on real threats sometimes.

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